wo US Congressmen, US. Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif), and US Rep. John Katko (R-NY), are sponsoring Bill HR-4308, which seeks to “remove Federal barriers regarding the offering of mobile wagers on Indian lands when the applicable State and Indian Tribe have reached an agreement.”
The bill came a day after a federal lawsuit filling in Florida, which seeks to stop a tribal gaming compact that would offer the Seminole Tribe exclusive statewide mobile sports betting rights in the state.
Correa noted that the tribal nations risk losing revenue streams that help them improve education, health care, and housing for the communities if not given a chance to offer online gaming. “This bill would clarify that for purposes of tribal government gaming, the location of the wager occurs at the location of the server unless a state and Indian tribe otherwise agree. Making this clarification will keep intact the current system of tribal gaming and eliminate any frivolous litigation."
He also clarified that the bill does not authorize any type of online gaming; that is within the authority of each state to do. However, the bill clarifies the location of where the wager takes place. It clarifies that internet gaming will be conducted by the tribal governments under the same framework that they currently conduct gaming in their physical casinos.
He added: “Congress needs to provide the clarification in my bill to ensure that tribal gaming is not relegated to the same fate as Blockbuster, but can move forward and thrive like Netflix in the era of the internet.”
In 2019, US. Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) filed a similar bill that sought to eliminate barriers to offering online sports betting, however, the congressional session ended before the bill could receive a committee hearing. Since then, New York has approved sports betting. However, online betting is still prohibited in ten upstate areas where the tribes have exclusive gaming rights, reports West Island Blog.
New Mexico tribal casinos were the first to offer sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the sports Act in 2018. Tribal operators in North Carolina, Indiana, Connecticut, and Michigan are permitted to offer sports betting. The bill will impact other states that do not permit tribal operators to offer online gaming.